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Old 06-24-2013, 01:30 AM   #1
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Default Advice for a beginner, please?

I just started home brewing. I don't really like beer very much, but my husband does. I began this as a gift to him. I bought the "kit" of supplies, and let him chose "the flavour!" He chose Russian Imperial Ale. Ok, maybe not the best first choice. It spent five weeks in the fermenter. And I bottled it nine days ago. It looks good, very clear. He taste it as I was bottling, before carbonation and says it will be really good!! I'm happy about that, but am now reading that it musT bottle condition for rather a long time. His birthday is early November, maybe by then!!
In the meantime, is there a good, fairly hoppy ale that I can make that will be drinkable sooner?

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Old 06-24-2013, 01:39 AM   #2
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Congrats on your first batch! You might try Dead Ringer from northernbrewer.com.

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Old 06-24-2013, 01:55 AM   #3
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+1 on the deadringer from northern brewer. Midwest supplies also has one called hop cult you should take a look at.

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Old 06-24-2013, 02:01 AM   #4
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I might be wrong, I'm a noob too, but 5 weeks in the fermentor and 4 Months in the bottle seem like plenty to me. It will at least be carbed and taste good. I've yet to brew a RIS, so it may need more time to reach it's peak. Not sure I could wait much longer.

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Old 06-24-2013, 02:12 AM   #5
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A Russian Imperial is probably a big beer that will do better with long aging (several months in the bottles) A pale ale or an IPA (more hoppy) should be ready long before the R.I. is ready.

For something simple I liked Northern Brewer's Chinook IPA.

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Old 06-24-2013, 02:13 AM   #6
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Austinhomebrew.com has free shipping on most of their kits now and they have a VERY large selection. Look under the IPA section and you're sure to find one you like. Or if your husband likes a particular commercial brew they have a large selection of clone recipes as well.

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Old 06-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #7
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I really appreciate the advice! I think the thing that most disappoints me is that I had no idea it would be so long for this particular beer. I got the ingredients , in a box, from Brewer's Best. The outside of the box was marked Russian Imperial Ale. The instructions inside are marked imperial Pale Ale. Not being a beer drinker, I don't know if those are the same or different.
The instructions said nothing about how long to leave in the fermenter. "The guy at the store" said four weeks. It ended up being about five and a half, he was sold out of bottles. The instructions said to bottle condition for maybe two weeks. Or "it might take longer." Very non-specific! The "guy at the store" said a week to ten days to bottle condition. It's been ten days and is no where near carbonated! And last night I finally started reading online and found it could be a few months.
It's ok, I just wish I had known!
So I want to do something else that Hal will like, that won't take quite so long. On the side for Adventures in Homebrewing, we found Adventures Amber Ale that he thought sounded good. Before I buy it, any comments?
I'm not even close to giving up on this! If anything, I'm more determined!!

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Old 06-24-2013, 05:32 PM   #8
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The Chinook IPA sounds promising. Still shopping, though!!

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Old 06-24-2013, 08:23 PM   #9
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I would try a bottle much sooner- I would bet it will be tasty soon, but continue to get better in the bottle as it ages. As a first batch, you may have had some issues with fermentation temperature control and using enough yeast (two of the biggest problems for beginners) so there may be some slight off-flavors you might want to mellow out in the bottle. I say at least try one or two in the coming weeks to see how things turned out. A well made beer, even a big alcoholic one, can be ready to drink just a few weeks after it goes into the bottle. Your beer may take a little longer than most to carbonate, but it shouldn't be months and months.

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Old 06-24-2013, 08:45 PM   #10
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An Imperial really needs to sit in the fermenter and age for months, then you bottle it......It's a big beer.

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